The Department for Transport has suggested that new laws could be introduced later this year making it a requirement for ensuring large vehicles have appropriate tyres fitted.
Tyres that have been around for 10 years or longer could be banned under the new rules unveiled in a consultation with owners of trucks and lorries, as well as buses and coaches. If the guidelines are supported by the government, laws surround the use of old tyres could be in force early next year.
This consultation has asked operators of large vehicles whether they feel the use of older tyres should be banned. The intention is to make commercial vehicles and public transportation safer given the potential impact that an accident could have on third parties.
One of the main reasons for the consultation coming about goes back to 2012, when a coach crash claimed the life of Michael Molloy. It was later discovered that a tyre on the coach was 19 years old and had significantly lost integrity over time. The government has introduced other road safety measures since 2012, but this review into tyres is now the latest development.
A safer future
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has updated its guidance when it comes to maintaining roadworthiness for large vehicles in line with the current consultation. It states that tyres aged 10 years and older should not be used on the front axles of HGVs, and it’s expected that this will be extended across the entire vehicle in the near future.
Minister for Road Safety, Michael Ellis, said: “Our priority is keeping people safe on our roads. There is increasing evidence that age affects the safety of tyres, which is why I think older tyres should not be used on large vehicles. The changes we are consulting on could save lives.”